Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Or who would reign o'er vale and hill,
If woman's heart were rebel still ?'

a

a

One jerk, and there a lady lay,

A lady wondrous fair ; But the rose of her lip had faded away, And her cheek was as white and as cold as clay,

And torn was her raven hair.
“Ah, ha !' said the Fisher, in merry guise,

Her gallant was hooked before ;'
And the Abbot heaved some piteous sighs,
For oft he had blessed those deep-blue eyes,

The eyes of Mistress Shore !
There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,
As he took forth a bait from his iror, box.
Many the cunning sportsman tried,
Many he flung with a frown aside ;
A minstrels harp, and a miser's chest,
A hermit's cowl, and a baron's crest,
Jewels of lustre, robes of price,
Tomes of heresy, loaded dice,
And golden cups of the brightest wine
That ever was pressed from the Burgundy vine.
There was a perfume of sulphur and nitre,
As he came at last to a bishop's mitre !
From top to toe the Abbot shook,
As the Fisherman armed his golden hook,
And awfully were his features wrought
By some dark dream or wakened thought.
Look how the fearful felon gazes
On the scaffold his country's vengeance raises,
When the lips are cracked and the jaws are dry
With the thirst which only in death shall die :
Mark the mariner's frenzied frown
As the swirling wherry settles down,
When peril has numbed the sense and will,
Though the hand and the foot may struggle still :
Wilder far was the Abbot's glance,
Deeper far was the Abbot's trance :
Fixed as a monument, still as air,
He bent no knee, and he breathed no prayer

But he signed- he knew not why or how,-
The sign of the Cross on his clammy brow.
There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,
As he stalked away with his iron box.

• O ho! O ho!

The cock doth crow;
It is time for the Fisher to rise and go.
Fair luck to the Abbot, fair luck to the shrine !
He hath gnawed in twain my choicest line ;
Let him swim to the north, let him swim to the south,
The Abbot will carry my hook in his mouth!'
The Abbot had preached for many years

With as clear articulation
As ever was heard in the House of Peers

Against Emancipation ;
His words had made battalions quake,

Had roused the zeal of martyrs,
Had kept the Court an hour awake,

And the King himself three-quarters : But ever since that hour, 'tis said,

He stammered and he stuttered,
As if an axe went through his head

With every word he uttered.
He stuttered o'er blessing, he stuttered o'er ban,

He stuttered drunk or dry ;
And none but he and the Fisherman
Could tell the reason why!

PRAED.

Boadicea

AN ODE

WHEN the British warrior-queen,

Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Sought, with an indignant mien,

Counsel of her country's gods,
Sage beneath a spreading oak

Sat the Druid, hoary chief,
Ev'ry burning word he spoke,

Full of rage and full of grief.

a

• Princess! If our aged eyes

Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, 'Tis because resentment ties

All the terrors of our tongues. “Rome shall perish-- write that word

In the blood that she has spilt ;
Perish, hopeless and abhorr'd,

Deep in ruin as in guilt.
Rome, for empire far renown'd,

Tramples on a thousand states ; Soon her pride shall kiss the ground

Hark! the Gaul is at her gates. • Other Romans shall arise,

Heedless of a soldier's name ; Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize,

Harmony the path to fame. • Then the progeny that springs

From the forests of our land, Arm'd with thunder, clad with wings,

Shall a wider world command. Regions Cæsar never knew

Thy posterity shall sway,
Where his eagles never flew,

None invincible as they.'
Such the bard's prophetic words,

Pregnant with celestial fire,
Bending as he swept the chords

Of his sweet but awful lyre. She, with all a monarch's pride,

Felt them in her bosom glow, Rush'd to battle, fought, and died ;

Dying, hurld them at the foe. Ruffians, pitiless as proud,

Heav'n awards the vengeance due : Empire is on us bestow'd, Shame and ruin wait for you.

COWPER.

On the Departure of Sir Walter Scott

from Abbotsford for Naples (1831] A TROUBLE, not of clouds, or weeping rain, Nor of the setting sun's pathetic light Engendered, hangs o'er Eildon's triple height; Spirits of Power, assembled there, complain For kindred Power departing from their sight; While Tweed, best pleased in chanting a blithe strain, Saddens his voice again, and yet again. Lift up your hearts, ye Mourners ! for the might Of the whole world's good wishes with him goes ; Blessings and prayers in nobler retinue Than sceptred king or laurelled conqueror knows, Follow this wondrous Potentate. Be true, Ye winds of ocean, and the midland sea, Wafting your Charge to soft Parthenope !

WORDSWORTH.

LIVES

OF AUTHORS

OF

POEMS

RICHARD BARNFIELD (1574-1627) was born at Norbury, in Shropshire. His father was a gentleman, and he went in due course to Oxford, and was a friend of the poet Drayton, and of Francis Meres, who gives us interesting information about Shakespeare.

In 1594 Barnfield published a small volume of poems entitled The Affectionate Shepherd, and dedicated them to Penelope Lady Rich, the Stella whom Sir Philip Sidney's sonnets have made so famous. In 1595 he published another volume entitled Cynthia, and in 1598 a third, wherein occur two beautiful poems which in the following year appeared again as part of The Passionate Pilgrim with the name of William Shakespeare as author. The two poems are, the one beginning

• If music and sweet poetry agree,' and the other beginning

• As it fell upon a day.'

There is little doubt that they are both the work of Barnfield, and they well show the richness of his fancy, and the power and sweetness of his language. The ascription of the name of Shakespeare is the device of the publisher, and there is good evidence that other parts of The Passionate Pilgrim belong to Christopher Marlowe and to Sir Walter Raleigh.

WILLIAM BLAKE (1757-1828) was born in Broad Street, Soho, where his father was a well-to-do hosier. The boy gave his heart to sketching and writing poetry, and his father apprenticed him to an engraver in Lincoln's Inn Fields. His first volume of Poetical Sketches appeared in 1783. It

« ElőzőTovább »